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Private Investigator Consultation: The Truth

In the world of legal services such as private investigations, the approach to initial consultations has evolved significantly, sparking debate and differing practices among law and investigative firms. While some continue to offer complimentary initial meetings, there is a growing recognition of the value and necessity of paid consultations. This shift represents more than a mere pricing strategy; it reflects a deeper commitment to quality, preparation, and mutual respect in the relationship.


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Some potential clients are surprised to learn we charge $50 for a consultation.

Understanding the Shift from Free to Paid Consultations

Historically, our investigations firm, like many others, offered free consultations. This well-intentioned practice aimed to make our private investigation services more accessible. However, this approach often led to inefficiencies and a misalignment of expectations. We found ourselves dedicating extensive time and resources to consulting with individuals who were often unprepared, merely comparing options, or seeking free advice without the intent to engage legal services.


People that don't value spending $50 on a an expert consultation, will not value anything else we do. These are not the types of clients we wish to serve. In as much as the client wants quality service, we want quality clients.

The reality of the situation necessitated a change. Our response was to introduce a nominal fee for consultations – a decision that has proven to be one of our most strategic and beneficial moves. This approach ensures that both the prospective client and investigator are invested in the consultation, leading to more meaningful and productive interactions.


The Current State of a Free Private Investigator Consultation

Here is how it currently goes...


Ring, ring...

PI: xyz detectives (if anyone answers at all).

You: I'd like to talk to someone, I've never done this before.

PI: Tell us what you need

You: I think my partner is being unfaithful, and here is why....(you tell your story)

PI: Yep, sounds like they are a cheater and we're gonna catch them. What's your budget?

You: I don't really know how this works, or what something like this costs.

PI: Well we will work with your budget. I think we can get something good with 4 hours and we charge $125 per hour. Looks like we can get you answers for $500.

You: That seems reasonable.


You then give them your card number and schedule the service. Wham-bam-thank you mam in under 15 minutes.


Here's the problem: After 3 decades in this business, the vast majority of our consultations necessitate that we tell the client they don't need us in a situation such as infidelity. We turn away over half of all the phone calls we receive to request our services.


So, if half the people that call us don't need us, and 3/4 of the calls that are on infidelity don't need us....what are other private investigators selling people? They're selling them a bill of goods. They are playing into the clients fragile state of emotions in hopes of getting the job. They are nodding dogs to build rapport. They do not tell it to the client straight because they need a paycheck. And, in the business of private investigations, the client is none the wiser, because we are secret squirrels and former agents, blah-blah.




The Advantages of a Paid Consultation


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You want a quality investigation. We want a quality client. A paid consultation determines if we are a good fit for each other.

Before we share these facts as to why we charge for a private investigation consultation, let me say one word - T R U T H. When you consult with us, and pay us for our time, you will get the truth as to why you should or shouldn't hire a private investigator. Now, let's look at five additional reasons paying for a consultation is good.


I do not know of one other private investigator that charges for a consultation. We do.

1. Guaranteed Time with an Experienced Private Investigator Unlike firms offering free consultations where clients might talk to salespeople, and office staff, our paid consultations ensure a one-on-one meeting with a licensed investigator. This format allows for an in-depth discussion of your case, providing clarity and direction right from the start. And, an added benefit is that it stays strictly confidential.


2. Unbiased Objective Advice, No Commission Breath Our consultations are designed as educational sessions, not as opportunities to secure a client. You've paid us for the consultation and it is incumbent upon us to provide you with objective advisory. This approach allows you to gain valuable insights into your investigative situation, understanding potential strategies and outcomes without the pressure of a sales environment.


3. Comprehensive Preparation and Personalized Attention Paid consultations enable us to allocate the necessary time for preparation and research, ensuring that we fully understand your case. This approach fosters a more thorough and unhurried discussion, allowing for a comprehensive exploration of your legal issues. It also allows you time to prepare your facts so you can share with us what is important to your case.


4. Establishing a Serious and Committed Clientele The consultation fee acts as a filter, attracting clients who are serious about their legal issues and willing to invest in professional guidance. This commitment helps in fostering a more engaged and productive investigator-client relationship.


5. You're Worth More Than 15 Minutes When a private investigator offers you a consultation for free, it is usually tagged as "free 15 minute consultation". Your matter needs more than 15 minutes. It requires a deep understanding, providing some feedback, more discussion, and perhaps a written strategy. What a private investigator is really saying is...."I've got 15 minutes and that is what your matter is worth to me". Imagine how sloppy the work could be!


We save people money! Often, our consultations helps clients save thousands of dollars over other private investigators who just tickle your ear to get your hard-earned money.

Conclusion: The Real Value of a Paid Consultation

Our approach to consultations reflects our commitment to providing high-quality private investigation services. By charging a consultation fee, we align our interests with those of serious clients, ensuring that each meeting is a valuable and mutually beneficial experience. This strategy not only enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of our practice but also serves as a testament to our dedication to legal excellence.


As we navigate the complexities of nationwide private investigative matters, our consultation process remains a cornerstone of our client relationships, setting the stage for informed, strategic, and successful legal partnerships.